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with a payment plan to prioritize how to use what money the government has on hand. but i talked to several fed officials about prior debt ceiling showdowns, and they said the fed said there would be no way to proceed without money in the treasury. we'll see what president obama says in his press conference, if he ratchets up the rhetoric this morning. he's been clear he would negotiate only spending cuts, but not in context of the debt ceiling debate. simon? >> okay. >> steve, are we all agreed on what the word default means in this case? we're going to be talking about it an awful lot. >> great question, carl. it's a political question. you can default on the interest payments, and that's a sort of, i guess the technical or legal version of default. or you can default on obligations. in other words, the government incurs a debt, but doesn't pay it. that's of a different order of magnitude from defaulting on the interest payments on the debt. in general, the white house wants you to believe that default is everything. and it's a terrible, terrible thing to happen. where as i think the republic
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